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Amazing satellite images help unravel the secret behind Mongol leader Genghis Khan's hidden burial ground

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By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
1/8/2015 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

More than 10,000 people sort through satellite images to narrow down the location of Genghis Khan's mysterious final resting place.

Archaeologists are closer than ever to finding the burial site for the Mongol leader Genghis Khan.

Genghis Khan, portrayed here by an actor for National Geographic, built up an empire that stretched from the Kaspian Sea to the Yellow Sea.

Genghis Khan, portrayed here by an actor for National Geographic, built up an empire that stretched from the Kaspian Sea to the Yellow Sea.

Highlights

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After remaining a secret for 800 years, Khan's tomb may soon be discovered after more than 10,000 volunteers joined scientists in scouring 84,000 satellite images of the Burkhan Khaldun mountain area in north Mongolia.

Khan died at the age of 72 in 1227 from a sudden illness. Khan was carried to a secret site with a location that still remains unknown.

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Although the actual tomb for Khan is still hidden, monuments and statues exist all over Mongolia. (M

Although the actual tomb for Khan is still hidden, monuments and statues exist all over Mongolia. (MORANDI Bruno/Hemis/Corbis)


According to legend, "his body was carried to its final resting place, anyone encountered along the route was put to the sword before those escorting the body also killed themselves."

"The satellite images helped the archaeologists find 55 sites that were archaeologically interesting

"The satellite images helped the archaeologists find 55 sites that were archaeologically interesting like a circular khirigsuur burial mound (labelled A and B), and stone megaliths known as 'deer stones' (labelled C)" - Daily Mail (Albert Yu-Min Lin et al/PLOS One)


Volunteers and scientists were directed to tag anything on the satellite images that appeared similar to a burial ground or held any archaeological significance.

After completing the massive search that should have taken more than three years in just six months, more than 2.3 million sites were tagged.

Satellite images helped narrow down the location of significant areas. (Albert Yu-Min Lin et al/PLOS

Satellite images helped narrow down the location of significant areas. (Albert Yu-Min Lin et al/PLOS One)


From there, researchers were able to narrow the list down to 100 accessible locations. 55 of the 100 hold some sort of archaeological significance, including circular "khirigsuur" burial mounds, rectangular burial mounds ranging from the Bronze Age to the Mongol period, stone megaliths and ancient city fortifications, according to the Daily Mail.

The burial site is speculated to be in the legendary Calley of the Khans near the Burkhan Khaldun mo

The burial site is speculated to be in the legendary Calley of the Khans near the Burkhan Khaldun mountain. (Daily Mail)


Researchers have been to some of the identified sites. However, doing any digging at the locations is highly controversial and remain deeply unpopular with the general public.

Using drone aircraft, the researchers photographed some of the tagged sites. (Albert Yu-Min Lin et a

Using drone aircraft, the researchers photographed some of the tagged sites. (Albert Yu-Min Lin et al/PLOS One)


As an alternative method, researchers intend to use ground penetrating radars and other equipment to narrow down their search.

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The famous Mongol leader's final resting place may soon be discovered thanks to the benefits and power of crowdsourcing.

"The shear mass of participation in this example provides a glimpse of the potential of our networked society," explained Dr. Albert Yu-Min Lin, the researcher who led the project at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology at the University of California in San Diego. "These crowdsourcing activities help us dive into the unknown and extract the unexpected."

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